Partitioning of alveolar and conducting airway nitric oxide in scleroderma lung disease

Reda E. Girgis, Manish K. Gugnani, Judith Abrams, Maureen D. Mayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


We partitioned exhaled nitric oxide (NO) into alveolar concentration (CA) and conducting airway flux (JNOair,max) in scleroderma (SSc) lung disease and hypothesized that CA would be elevated. Twenty patients with SSc, 15 with interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) alone, and 5 with pulmonary hypertension (SSc-PH) were compared with 20 control subjects. CA and JNOair,max were derived from the slope and y intercept, respectively, of the NO output versus expiratory flow rate (Vexh) relationship obtained by measuring exhaled NO (FENO) at multiple Vexh values of 50-200 ml/second. There were no significant differences in FENO at any V̇exh between the SSc group and control subjects. JNOair,max was reduced (0.6 ± 0.1 versus 1.2 ± 0.2 nl of NO per second; p = 0.01), whereas CA was increased (4.7 ± 0.5 versus 1.8 ± 0.2 ppb; p < 0.001) in the SSc group compared with control subjects. No differences were noted between SSc-ILD and SSc-PH. There was a negative correlation between CA and DLCO among the patients with SSc (R = -0.66, p = 0.002). We conclude that CA is increased whereas JNOair,max is decreased in SSc-ILD and SSc-PH. A reduced diffusing capacity of NO from the alveolar space into the blood could explain the observed increase in CA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1587-1591
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Nitric oxide
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Scleroderma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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